Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Superman Unchained

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Superman and with his big screen presence comes a new comic with a super star creative team. Legendary artist Jim Lee and  writer Scott Snyder pair up to make an action packed stand alone Superman epic. Familiar faces and new foes make this a perfect start to a classic character.

Jim Lee's art is just amazing to hold, and with a never before seen four page fold out you get more than a handful. Both sides of the fold out set the scale as to how Superman casually handles such epic heroics. Snyder writes Clark's cunning intellect as he cycles through his many powers to save the astronauts of a falling space station. A perfect cinematic start to a Superman comic. 

Snyder introduces the classic cast of Superman characters flawlessly while keeping the story going. This is not another origin story. Lex Luthor is on a prison transport helicopter over Metropolis that begins to plummet from it's unruly captives. Continuing the active pace of the previous pages Supes arrives and saves the day. Then he rips the aircraft apart so he can look at his foe face to face. Like a true villain, Luthor remains calm and continues reading his book, despite being upside down. Lex explains how he's bettering the city and how it must be this new Ascension threat that has recently been terrorizing Metropolis. 

The action slows as Clark Kent is at the Daily Planet with Jimmy Olsen. We also meet Lois Lane as she brings us up to speed on her take on Metropolis's new threat. Clark knows that Luthor is to blame for this and heads back out to explore the wreckage. Lee gives us more beautiful scenery as Superman explores an underwater wreck and then narrowly dodges a torpedo attack. As the excitement continues to the end we learn that the U.S. military has a Superman of their own!

Scott Snyder has had an amazing run on Batman since the New 52 began. Add in Jim Lee's epic scenes and you have a comic that's not worth missing. This is a stand alone title, so you don't have to read Action Comics, Superman, or Justice League to join in on this. There's no flashbacks or origin story yet in this book, just a fast paced cannonball into Superman's world. With Snyder telling the 'Zero Year' story in his Batman book, this could be DC laying out the New 52 concepts of their 2 biggest characters.  

Since the New 52 Superman has  flown on and off of my pull list. Unimpressed with either comic I figured that maybe Superman just isn't for me. Then I saw that Snyder and Lee were bringing another Superman title to the comic rack. After Snyder's Court of Owls story in Batman I want to see what this guy can bring to any comic hero. Jim Lee has been pleasing comic fans for decades with works like X-men, WildC.A.T.s and Gen13. This book lives up to Lee's reputation for amazing comic art. These two take a 75 year old character and keep him exciting and current. 

With the buzz of the current movie, this is the perfect title for a beginning Superman fan. These creators launch us into a quick paced new story that lives up to the Man of Steel's abilities. Even if you're not looking for a new series, you should pick up Superman Unchained #1 just to enjoy Jim Lee's breathtaking art.

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